PassoverResorts.com at Hyatt Regency Valencia was voted as the JoyofKosher.com Best of Kosher Passover Resort for 2011. As part of our winner's series we met with Jeann Litvin to learn more about her Passover program.
Jeann shares the following with us:
We just didn’t ‘get up from the table’ & start running Passover Programs. Both my husband & I worked for a Passover Program for 5 years before we started to run our own. He worked as the Supervising Rabbi (Rav HaMachshir), led the Seders & gave several talks & I was a Chef & at that time the only woman mashgiach (Rabbinic Supervisor) working on a Passsover Program. I also owned a day camp, ran federal food lunch programs & was a caterer.
In 1989 after hosting Rosh Hoshana, Succos, Chanukah & Shavuos programs for 2 years, we hosted our first Passover Program in Santa Barbara, California. We went on to host 2 – 6 programs every season usually some on the East Coast & others in the West including several Ritz-Carlton Programs (Palm Beach, Laguna Niguel, Rancho Mirage & Orlando), the first 2 years at Loews South Beach & the first 2 years at the new Diplomat. There were ski Passover programs in Beaver Creek, Telluride & at the Olympic venues in Park City, Utah & 3 Hawaii Passover Programs & too many more to list here.
We are different than most programs in that we treat all guests equally when it comes to price. Whether you come to us with 1 room or 20 rooms, there’s no difference in the rate. You’re not going to have your Passover vacation ruined by sitting next to someone at a tea room only to find out they ‘hondled’ better than you did. So we announce our lowest price & we stick to it. When those rooms are sold, you’ll be paying a higher price for the next level room or view. So people have learned to reserve early.
We believe that we were chosen Best of Passover Resorts not because of the hotels we select but because we’re very much into personal service. We walk the dining room assisting guests throughout every meal. We’re at every tea room, entertainment or activity in case anyone needs our assistance. Single seniors don’t walk to their room alone & we’re meticulous about making sure that the dietary restrictions & allergies of the guests are taken care of they way they would be in their own home.
This year, we are returning to our 4th year at the family friendly HYATT REGENCY VALENCIA just 30 minutes from Los Angeles. Our 1st year at this location was the first year of the recession. We decided that instead of doing multiple programs, we would do one reasonably priced program at a well-run hotel that had a relaxing atmosphere with lots of walking opportunities & nearby reasonably priced attractions along with theme parks.
As for the food, Jeann creates new recipes all year round for the Passover Program. Recipes run the gamut from traditional to eclectic. She creates vegetarian entrees so that the vegetarians can feel like they’re having an exciting entrée not just a double portion of the sides that the other guests get with their meat, chicken or fish. For more about the Passover program click here.
For more on the Best of Kosher contest click here.